Keeper League, After Week 4…

Ugh. I had a 2-8-2 week, dropping my season to 19-26-3, good for 10th of 12. The week wasn’t that awful – I didn’t get blown out. In fact, it was very close on the batting categories – runs tied, lost HRs by 1, lost RBIs by 5, lost SB by 2, and lost AVG by .004 (.242 to .246). Meanwhile, my opponent just had a brilliant week of pitching – his pitchers gave him a ERA under 2.00 and a WHIP under 1.00 for the week. He had 10 QS. Wow. I mean, there’s not much to do about that except tip your hat and hope for luck to swing similarly your way sometime later.

I keep waiting for my roster to just put it together, but it’s not happening yet, and that power outage mentioned previously remains a large problem. However, I started to try and address what I felt were going to be long-lasting roster deficiencies this week, so changes came.

My Week 5 roster is:
C – Buster Posey
1B – Prince Fielder
2B – Dustin Pedrioa
3B – Pedro Alvarez
SS – Everth Cabrera
1B/3B – James Loney
2B/SS – Jed Lowrie
OF x5 – Starling Marte / Austin Jackson / Nori Aoki / Khris Davis / Alejandro De Aza
UTIL – Matt Joyce
BENCH – Alex Guerrero

SP x6 – David Price / Shelby Miller / Corey Kluber / Zack Wheeler / Tyson Ross / Alex Wood
RP x3 (closers) – Craig Kimbrel / Sergio Santos / Jonathon Broxton
P x2 (setup) – Ernesto Frieri / Adam Ottavino

DL x3 – Matt Harvey / Aroldis Chapman / Chris Davis

I floated some trade bait to my league early last week, offering both speed and saves to anyone who needed. One league member expressed a strong desire to obtain Francisco Rodriguez. I didn’t love his roster, but I did see a potential upgrade for me in Jed Lowrie – I was already a little concerned at my lack of a second SS-eligible player. He relented a bit, so I offered him a choice of Dustin Ackley or Emilio Bonifacio. He offered me Jed Lowrie and Joel Peralta for Bonifacio and K-Rod. I pounced on it. The trade looked good to me on multiple levels, with the league format being a large part of it. Lowrie carried a C12 value, and Peralta E19; on my end, Bonifacio carried F23 value, and K-Rod F25. In short, not only did I gain a big upgrade in Lowrie, I gained an extra C-tier and extra E-tier slot to deal with. This was important to me and the sole reason I pursued Peralta; my E-tier draft choices were Guerrero and Kluber, both guys I want to hang onto. The extra E-tier slot I got from Peralta gives me some room to play there. Meanwhile, Lowrie gives me a potentially reliable keeper option over Nori Aoki, who’s started slow, or Zack Wheeler, although he’s looking sharper lately. So it was both a win-now trade, in that I think Lowrie makes my lineup better, but it’s also looking to the future and next season.

I dropped Peralta to pick up Ottavino. I had planned to stick with Peralta, who generates holds reliably, but the Colorado reliever has been remarkably solid since he came up last season, and seemed worth a flier. In other news, Frieri finally got removed from his closer role. I’m not too worried there; I’ll carry him for the moment and see if he gains it back. I expect he will. In the meantime, I’ve got 3 guys reliably getting me saves, with Chapman coming back soon probably. If Frieri doesn’t pick it up, I’ll worry about it later.

Lineup-wise, I dropped Ackley finally to pick up James Loney, hoping that Tampa’s recent surge holds on and that his slow start was an aberration. Remember, I originally drafted Loney and dropped him for Bonifacio. At any rate, I could easily observe a need for more RBIs in my lineup, and Loney is more likely to produce than Ackley. The other major move I made was dropping Carl Crawford for Alejandro de Aza. I’ve always liked de Aza, and I expect his slow start to taper off, especially in that hot White Sox lineup. I don’t think the White Sox run production is a flash in the pan; I think that’s the best lineup in the AL Central, hands down. I had originally wanted Avisail Garcia, but with him down, de Aza looks safe. Another league member dropped him due to his slow start, but I’m a believer. Besides which, I’ve noticed that the Dodgers are sitting Crawford regularly against lefties – I need a daily player, even in my 5th OF spot. I see de Aza as an upgrade over Crawford; their SB totals will likely be similar at the end of the year, but de Aza will probably hit 10 more HRs.

Beyond that, seeing Chris Davis hit the DL is just another blow. I picked up Matt Joyce to fill the hole temporarily, although I’ll be watching for better options over the course of the week.

I have to keep believing this lineup will produce eventually, but another sub-.500 week might see me drop an active player and put my second bench spot to work holding Gregory Polanco. I have to wonder if it’s worth holding onto Guerrero, but the numbers he’s putting up in Triple-A are pretty serious. With this season going the way it has so far, I suppose it’s all the more reason to hold onto Guerrero as a second-half upgrade or a future keeper at the keystone. And if my season does end up going bust, I’ll have plenty of expiring contracts to offer to contenders for potential keeper depth.

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